Inox to add 50 multiplex screens to network

Multiplex operator Inox is planning to add up to 50 screens to its chain by the year-end to take the total number to around 440.

At present, Inox operates 389 screens in 100 properties across 54 cities in the country.

“This financial year opened about 17 screens. We should be opening 40-50 screens in the remaining part of the year,” Inox Chief Executive Officer Alok Tandon told PTI.

The company, which reported a turnover of over Rs 1,000 crore last fiscal year, invests between Rs 2-2.5 crore to open a new screen.

“We see a lot of potential in this business. India is a very under-screened nation. Today we have nine screens for a million population and this includes single screens also. We have got 1 to 1.5 multiplex screens per million people which is hardly anything.

“We release 1,600 movies per year and sell a shade under 2 billion tickets, which is just next to China, but our screen penetration is hardly anything.

So there is a lot of chance to grow in,” he said.

Inox also has plans to acquire regional multiplex chains.

“There are 15-20 regional chains and all of these have anywhere between 20-60 screens each, so there would be potential consolidation opportunities … We are willing to look at acquisition possibilities,” the company had said.

The Indian multiplex space has been in consolidation mode as lack of space for opening new cinema halls, low footfalls in a large number of malls and high rentals have made the organic growth difficult.

In January, Mexican multiplex chain operator Cinepolis fully acquired Essel Group’s Fun Cinemas. In June, PVR Ltd took over real estate major DLF’s DT Cinemas for Rs 500 crore.

In December 2014, Carnival Group acquired Big Cinemas from Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group for an estimated Rs 700 crore, making it the biggest deal in this sector.

Inox in July last year had acquired Gurgaon-based rival Satyam Cineplexes in a Rs 182-crore deal to strengthen its presence in north India.

Inox also bought multiplex cinema theatre firm Fame India and Calcutta Cinema Private (CCPL) in West Bengal.